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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki Tiki Archeology-The Trade Winds-Oxnard, Ca (Image Heavy)
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Tiki Archeology-The Trade Winds-Oxnard, Ca (Image Heavy)
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Oct 15, 2002
Posts: 1560
From: Ventura County
Posted: 2006-04-14 2:53 pm   Permalink

With the help of some Oxnard friends (library, historian, city staff, retired contractor) and some TCers, I have been able to find out more about the Trade Winds Restaurant (aka; Port Of Seven Seas Inc.) and would like to it share here.

It was built by Martin "Bud" Smith. He became one of the largest developers in Ventura County with projects between Santa Monica and Santa Maria. He also built the Colonial House Restaurant in Oxnard and others on Wagon Wheel Road next to the 101 Highway. He had a yacht named "The Dry Martini" and passed away a few years ago. Some of the historians photos here were taken with an older digital camera of pictures that were borrowed from the family albums years ago, so some of the quality isn't too good (Mrs. Fury fixed them the best she could).

Permit for construction of a 10,875 square foot structure with a value of $75,000.00-1963

The first sign - open early spring-Exotic Food & Grog fron the Seven Seas. Check out those torches. Some of the structure of a former building (not sure what it was previously) was used,
as seen in the background and mentioned in the blueprints.

Unfortunately the city did not start putting blueprints on microfische until 1970, but I managed to find copies (18''X24") of the foundation, front elevation, interior, lagoon, and sign. I am restoring the images and hope to end up with some cool images to frame. Part of the exterior print.

A shot of the exterior with the boat and Tiki.

The tiki as it is today.....posted by Vontiki


Rear of postcard

Entrance.....gift shop was inside on the right.

Ad for the Trade Winds (with some of the text from the back of the full sized menu) and Colonial House

Part of interior print. The gazebo was the Samoa Hut and had a water feature aroung it on the plan as did the curved bar behind it (tempura bar on left, Somoa waterfall on right behind bar). The Zanzibar room in the back had it's own bar and fireplace. There was also an East Indies Room, another room that I can't quite read (Secte Trompsoy Room?), dance floor and stage area, gift shop, a liquor room, office, dressing areas, a huge kitchen and service bar, porter and gardner room, and storage. Looks like it had a covered car port/valet area like the Mai Kai also.

Interior shot of the Samoa Hut similar to the postcard except the outriger that hung from the ceiling is not visible.

Exterior close up at night.

Exterior at night.

Part of lagoon print. There was a gazebo and waterfall to the right.

Matchbook interior.

Mailing menu cover, like the one Sabu posted in artist renderings.

Part of print for a new sign (1968) with "Hop Louie Presents" . Not sure when he took over the restaurant as he is not mentioned in paperwork I have and saw until the late 60s when his name was added in front as Hop Louie's Tradewinds.

This application for a new owner-Don The Beachcomber-and this sign was in 1976.

The de-evolution begins with the next owner a couple years later-Coconut Joe's Warehouse Restaurant.

And further as this sign application for 1981-Hawaiian Cowby- following the popular Urban Cowboy craze. One person remembered going there. They had removed some of the decor to put in barbeque pits and the had a mechanical bull. She said it was not in business long and became an ice cream parlor (name unknown) for about a year. The demolition permit was pulled in 1984 and all was destroyed (except the Tiki)
The city had cited the place on numerous dates for electrical violations (extension cords), someone living in a trailer on the property, and loose rotting decks. The final blow to the exterior was that because the lagoon was over 24" deep the city wanted a 5' fence around it because it posed an "attractive nuiscence" and were afraid a child would fall in, like a residential pool. Not sure why they don't fence off the local lakes and beaches. The remaining photos are all that is left today, the RV and auto sales lot has been there for over 20 years. They took out the demo permit.

Large rubber trees

Palms over the sales office

Note the base of that middle mailbox.

Telephone pole posts still surrounds part of the site.

There is a large new residential development across the 101 from the site. The name of one of the home models is the Tradewinds. I wonder if they know?

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Sabu The Coconut Boy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2804
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2006-04-14 3:22 pm   Permalink

Thank you Bongofury and Mrs Fury for all the research work that went into this post! There's a lot of great stuff here on Tiki Central but these Archeology posts are some of the Best in my humble opinion.

I think I like this photo best:

There's something about seeing these old vanished tiki temples in their Brand New or Under Construction phase that makes me so nostalgic.

Great post!


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 02, 2002
Posts: 290
From: Seattle, WA
Posted: 2006-04-14 3:28 pm   Permalink

Yeah !! Outstanding post, Bongofury !! Finding documents, images & artifacts from beginning building permit
back in 1963 through to today really paints a much fuller picture on the history of the Trade Winds. I especially
love that interior color photo of the Samoa Hut, as well as those detailed prints of the interior and exterior plans, too.
Thanks so much for sharing all this great documentation & history...this post made my day !

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 25, 2002
Posts: 1563
Posted: 2006-04-14 3:37 pm   Permalink

Incredible post! Wow - you really did your homework. Thanks for sharing it all with us.

Is there any chance of getting "cleaner" copies of the blueprints? Or is that as good quality as is possible?

Thanks again - we need more of this kind of post on TC.

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Rob Roy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 03, 2004
Posts: 368
From: Ventura, CA
Posted: 2006-04-14 3:55 pm   Permalink

Great post. I wonder when they changed their name to Coconut Joe's Warehouse Restaurant it is related to the Warehouse Resturant in Marina Del Rey? It would explain all the Warehouse mugs I find i around here.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 2244
From: seattle, wa
Posted: 2006-04-14 4:17 pm   Permalink

whoa! i had only seen the pictures of the first sign for Trade Winds, i had no clue how fantastic the structure was ~ for some reason i just figured it was a restaurant attempting a Polynesian theme.. That Place was SWANK!

i wonder if they had an in-house photographer .. many restaurants of that era took souvenir photos of the guests.. something to look for at estate sales, thats for sure.

thanks SO MUCH for all the research and for sharing with us.

ps: in Oxnard! who'da thought!

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Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Oct 15, 2002
Posts: 1560
From: Ventura County
Posted: 2006-04-15 10:03 am   Permalink

Thanks everyone! Sabu- that is my favorite photo. There is a pulley at the top of the boat so they could raise and lower the sail. Puamana-Thanks again for sending us the full sized menu last year. I should post more of that. I have more paperwork to sift through. Tangaroa-the copies of the blueprints are very dark and smeared, best ones that I could buy. Many pages were missing as there are several notes on the main pages that said "see detail". I have spent a lot of time trying to restore the copies I have and will post as I get them done. RobRoy- I have not seen any of the mugs (you must get to the thrifts before me) but the lettering style for the Warehouse sign looks similar to their other restaurants. Dogbytes....thanks for the mug. Oxnard is not the most happening spot, but Port Hueneme, the harbor, and the SeaBee base is nearby, so there are a lot of old salts in the area that probably dug the nautical-south seas theme. Maybe more interior shots will come up. I would love to see the waterfall behind the bar. Mrs. Fury lived in Oxnard briefly in the early 60s. Her parents told me that he was supposed to meet friends at the Trade Winds for dinner once, but her dad got sick and they did not go. They moved shortly after that to the bay area wher he frequented Trader Vic's San Francisco with his buddies from Shell Oil.

Another shot of the front showing the sign from the blueprint that says Tradewinds Presents instead of Hop Louie. Maybe they did not use the Hop Louie sign or it was changed again. It says "Opening Soon Don The Beachcomber". The original sign is on the left with a large anchor under it. I had no idea that DonThe Beachcomber had a location in Oxnard. They had taken over the Tonga Lei in Mailbu also, but I'm not sure when that was. We did not move here until 1985.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 18, 2002
Posts: 861
From: Ventura, CA
Posted: 2006-04-15 11:46 pm   Permalink

Great job Bongofury! The restoration drawings I saw in person look great too! Your attention to detail is awesome! This would be an awesome hub if it still existed. I remember reading one of bigbro's post that he would search out the tiki establishments in LA by following the trail of the super tall palm trees... and when I was passing by the wagon wheel one day, I just knew there had to have been a restaraunt or bar there at one point. Those palms are some of the tallest, and most windswept I've ever seen. Great job Bongofury!

Live like a Beachcomber!
www.TikiTony.com www.facebook.com/tikitonybeachcomber

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Jeff Central
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 23, 2002
Posts: 1700
From: Columbus, Ohio
Posted: 2006-04-16 06:26 am   Permalink

Aloha Bongofury,

You have done a fantastic job of documenting the early tiki establishment known as the Trade Winds. Congratulations!! This is one of the reasons that makes TC such a great site. It shows the people who have a real passion for the tiki culture. Good Job!!!

Cheers and Mahalo,

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1784
From: Orlando
Posted: 2006-04-16 10:48 am   Permalink

I agree. Of all the types of posts we have here on TC, these are my favorites. I just love when something that is long gone and nearly forgotten is researched and resurrected by someone who cares. I could look at pictures like this all day long. Thanks for all the hard work bongofury!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 11, 2003
Posts: 336
From: ripon: almond capital yet no orgeat
Posted: 2006-04-16 11:24 am   Permalink

absolutely FABULOUS research bongofury! i am estactic to see that you two were able to recover numberous blueprints of the facility. it seems that many cities dont carry those records from the 60's or before. so this is a fantastic find and a great treat to see! the pictures are wonderful...especially the one of it being built like sabu pointed out. i guess i never realized how extensive the trade winds really was. do we know if there were any other mugs, other than the bucket mug from there? and what goodies was in their gift shop??!

as for exciting blueprint finds, this print was the cat's meow in my eye:


On 2006-04-14 14:53, bongofury wrote:

Part of print for a new sign (1968) with "Hop Louie Presents" . Not sure when he took over the restaurant as he is not mentioned in paperwork I have and saw until the late 60s when his name was added in front as Hop Louie's Tradewinds.

who is that dude on the left? perhaps an artist rendering of the great hop louie himself (sporting bermuda shorts and black socks?)??? 1968 sounds just about right timeline-wise. he was already at latitude 20 at that point. i wonder if there was a menu change when he took over?

i must say again, GREAT job with this post! big mahalos!
got tiki?

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 29, 2005
Posts: 140
From: Stockton, CA
Posted: 2006-04-17 10:03 am   Permalink

I used to work as a designer for the once great Ad Art Sign Company in Stockton. I left a few years ago shortly before it closed, but currently work with one of the old foreman who stayed on until the bitter end, around 2001. He told me that they threw out probably 20 filing cabinets of prints and original drawings before he left. I nearly cried. Ad Art did the original Islander sign in Stockton as well as many of the old casino signs in Vegas. I'm sure Chuck Bernard, one of the original designers and art directors for the company still has some of the casino sign designs (as well as Betty Willits, the designer of the famous "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign), but unfortunately, a lot of the people that worked there had no real appreciation for googie design/architecture and treated the material accordingly. They did restaurant and hotel signs all over California (including Disneyland), Las Vegas and the world from the 50's to 2001, but unfortunately it seems all that history went to the dump except for a few stray pieces that some salesmen took away with them. It truly was an end of an era when that place closed its doors.

By the way, that little dude to the left on the drawing is affectionately refered to as a "goon" in the trade!

[ This Message was edited by: quickiki 2006-04-17 10:07 ]

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Dr. Shocker
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 17, 2004
Posts: 392
From: Ventura
Posted: 2006-04-27 3:26 pm   Permalink

you know my dad used to drink with Bud in the 80s he recalls the place as do many of older folks I know......I just wish it was still there
Dr. Shocker
Viccar of Vice

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 05, 2004
Posts: 214
From: Ventura, Ca
Posted: 2006-04-27 10:35 pm   Permalink

I was fortune enough to have met " Bud" Smith shortly before his demise, Unfortuneately, I hadn't come into my tiki self as of yet or I would have asked him about it....

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Rob Roy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 03, 2004
Posts: 368
From: Ventura, CA
Posted: 2006-04-28 09:21 am   Permalink

VonTiki, was the tiki you found from the Trade Winds at a tool rental yard in Oxnard? I think I remember seeing it there years ago while renting a car dolly.

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